Life lessons from fruit

The Pediatric Insider

© 2018 Roy Benaroch, MD

A Twitter argument about the relative merits of honeydew got me thinking. (What, that’s never happened to you?)

Some fruits are reliably good: apples, say, and bananas. Peel a banana, eat a banana, and it always tastes like a pretty-good banana. Unless it’s not ripe, in which case it tastes like sheetrock, but ignoring that issue, let’s say this: bananas are a reliable, low-risk, fairly-low-reward fruit.

Other fruits are a lot of work, and you don’t really know what you’re going to get at the end. Honeydew, for instance – a pain to prep and get the rindy bits off. And the white-stuff-near-the-rind part that tastes of despair, that’s got to go, too. Work work work. And what you’re left with might be sublime cubes that taste of warmth and that little tide of happiness when you unexpectedly see a friend. Or it might just be vaguely greenish chunks of meh.

Mangoes, too, the most high-reward, high-risk fruit of all. A lot of work, always (and don’t send me videos of all of those “best ways to slice a mango.” None are effective. Not even that clever one with the glass tumbler. It may look good in the video. IRL you get a handful of mango squish and broken glass on the floor.) But once you slice a really good mango, you get a taste of summer, and hope, and love. The kind of love that sparkles. Really. If you haven’t had a great mango yet, keep trying.

Some things are worth the effort.

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7 Comments on “Life lessons from fruit”

  1. furrydoc Says:

    the real roll of the dice are the pineapples, especially the ones that go on sale for less than $2

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  2. Dr. Roy Says:

    You are so right. A good pineapple —- delicious. But a poor pineapple…. what a disappointment.

    At least with a pineapple, I can pretty much get a hint of the goodness potentially inside. Give it a good sniff, should smell like Hawaii. And make sure the end is just a little soft. Someone once told me to pull the leaves, too, but I don’t remember if they’re supposed to be firm or loose.

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  3. wzrd1 Says:

    In theory, the ripe pineapple leaves should be loose. In practice, it can be a bit variable.
    As for cantaloupe or honeydew, I’ve found that the ends being slightly soft is a decent indicator of ripeness.

    “And the white-stuff-near-the-rind part that tastes of despair, that’s got to go, too.”

    I dunno, I tend to eat it anyway. But then, I’m known to eat the white rind from the watermelon. 😉

    Annoying: My wife’s habit of salting her cantaloupe.

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  4. Dr. Roy Says:

    Salted cantaloupe? Shudder. Though I’ll still give it a try!

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  5. wzrd1 Says:

    While I await my honeydew melon ripening, I’ll polish off the blueberries and nibble on some of my wife’s cantaloupe (holding the salt, thank you).

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  6. Sheri Flink Says:

    The REAL issue, and possibly the topic for your next post…FRUIT FLIES!!! where do they come from and how do you get rid of them (besides leaving out a glass of wine which should be illegal imho)

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  7. Des Says:

    I like the mangoes when they are still a bit stiff before they ripen completely – they discover a new use for you spiralizer! YUM! In my country they call them “Mango Twist” and we add salt and lemon juice, but that may be too much for some 🙂

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